Sitka Mayor: ‘Don’t Assume, Always Hope’ For Funding

About a hundred officials from cities and towns across the state met in Juneau last week for the Alaska Municipal League conference. Part of the conference involved lobbying state lawmakers for funding for local projects. In Sitka, officials are hoping for more than $40 million to fund an important hydro electric expansion project. That might be more money than state is willing to fund in lean budget year. But as the Sitka leaders found out, it's always worth a try.

Murkowski: Government Needs To Look At All Aspects Of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Operations

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski says in light of the Kulluk’s grounding, the government needs to look at all aspects of Shell’s Arctic drilling operations.

New Sealaska Land Bills Introduced In Congress

Alaska’s congressional delegation today introduced new Sealaska land-selection bills. Senator Lisa Murkowski authored her chamber’s version, which is co-sponsored by Senator Mark Begich. Congressman Don Young released the House version.

Alaska Supreme Court Orders Redistricting Board to Redraw Boundaries

The Alaska Supreme Court is ordering that the state's redistricting plan be redrawn for the 2014 elections. In a opinion released Friday, the court denied the Alaska Redistricting Board's petition for rehearing on a December court decision. The Alaska Supreme Court had ordered the board to redraw the state voting map to be in line with the Alaska Constitution.

Sullivan Digs in to Battle with Unions, Assembly Questions Plan

Anchorage Assembly members met with Mayor Dan Sullivan and Municipal attorneys Friday (2/15) for a work session on the Mayor's proposal to limit unions. Ordinance number 37 is aimed at cutting costs and limiting the union power of municipal workers. It was introduced at the Anchorage Assembly last week, where and estimated more than 1-thousand people showed up to rally against it. KSKA's Daysha Eaton has the story.

Some Legislators Attempting To Start School Voucher Program In Alaska

A dozen states across the country have school voucher programs. Now, some legislators are trying to bring vouchers to Alaska. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that push for directing state funding to private schools has more momentum than it’s had in the past.

Micciche Says He Does Not Support Parnell Oil Tax Plan

Since his election to the Alaska State Legislature last year, Senator Peter Micciche has found himself neck-deep in oil and gas issues, something he knows about as a long-time employee of Conoco Phillips.

Federal Priorities

The President called for action on domestic energy development, infrastructure upgrades and climate change during his state of the union address. What could it mean for Alaska? U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski will be on hand to discuss how her energy development plans may fit or clash with White House policies over the next four years. KSKA: Tuesday, 2/19 at 10:00am

Officials Concerned About Sequester Effects On Indian Health Services

The state of Indian Country is strong, according to the president of the National Congress of American Indians. Today Jefferson Keel presented the State of Indian Nations Address in Washington D.C. Despite advancements in tribal governing, leaders are worried about the coming sequester, and what it means for Indian Health Services.

Cruise Ship Waste Bill Opened To Amendments

Yesterday, the Alaska State Senate was expected to vote on a bill that would change the way that waste from cruise ships is regulated. But instead, they opened the bill up to amendments and put off a real vote on the measure until next week. The bill is a priority of the governor, and the administration had hoped for passage by this week. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez is here with us to explain why that didn’t happen.

Chief Justice Dana Fabe Stresses Preventative Approaches

Bringing justice to all Alaskans. That was the major theme of state Supreme court Chief Justice Dana Fabe’s speech at the Capitol today. Fabe stressed the importance of preventative approaches – like an early resolution process to help settle divorce cases quickly – to improve outcomes for both the participants involved and taxpayers.

Vote On Cruise Ship Waste Bill Delayed

A vote on a controversial bill involving cruise ship waste has been put off until next week. The legislation would strike provisions of a citizen’s initiative requiring cruise ships to meet clean water standards at the point of discharge by the 2016 season, instead of allowing them to release their waste into mixing zones. The bill was introduced by the governor’s office, and it easily passed in the House last week.

Assembly Allows Union Proposal to Move Ahead, Huge Turnout

Hundreds of people rallied at the Anchorage Assembly chambers Tuesday night to protest a proposal by Mayor Dan Sullivan, aimed at limiting unions. Despite the huge turnout to protest the proposal, Assembly members voted to allow it to move ahead to public hearings. KSKA's Daysha Eaton has the story.

Pressure Increases On US House To Pass VAWA Reauthorization

There’s increasing pressure on the U.S. House to pass a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Congressman Don Young says it will happen, but probably not soon.

Parnell Says Fairbanks LNG Trucking Project Is Must-Pass Legislation

Governor Sean Parnell says funding for a Fairbanks natural gas trucking project is must pass legislation this session. Speaking to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Parnell said bills to fund the interior energy project have to be dealt with before legislators go home this spring.

FDA Considers Approving Genetically Engineered Salmon

The FDA is considering approving genetically engineered, or GE, salmon to be sold in the U.S. Senator Mark Begich last week introduced two bills in the Senate that would ban these new salmon. And a group of Sitka residents held a demonstration against GMO salmon last weekend.

Senate Committee Taking On LNG Exporting Issue

The Senate Energy Committee held its first meeting of the new Congress. It wasted no time in discussing one of the most controversial issues the committee will tackle this session – exporting liquefied natural gas.

Legislation Defines Medically Necessary Abortions

Legislation that would limit the circumstances in which public funds can be used to pay for abortions was introduced in the Senate on Monday, and the bill may have trouble standing up to court scrutiny.

Redistricting Board Considering Options

Alaska’s Redistricting Board met Tuesday in Anchorage to consider its options in the wake of an Alaska Supreme Court ruling requiring a revision of the 2012 redistricting plan. The Court allowed the current plan to be used in only last November’s general election, but has required the Board to redraw the plan so it is in line with the Alaska Constitution. The Board has filed a motion for a reconsideration.

Unions Call for Rally at Loussac

Anchorage labor unions are calling on members to rally tonight against an ordinance that could limit unions. The ordinance proposed by Mayor Dan Sullivan, Assembly President Ernie Hall and Vice Chair Jennifer Johnston, is set to be introduced at tonight's regular Assembly meeting.